The project has resulted in the manufacture of a steel concept tool, produced via thermal spray technology. The tooling incorporates conformal channels in the outer shell enabling direct heating and cooling using thermal oil. A radio telemetry based, temperature measurement and logging system has been used in process trials, for control of the heating and cooling cycle. The success of the radio telemetry system will lead to control of the rotational moulding process by temperature rather than time. Process trials using the novel tooling have successfully demonstrated the proof of principle of the tooling, with both foamed and un-foamed polyethylene. The heating and cooling response of the novel tooling was determined and found to be repeatable. Thermal imaging has been used to determine the thermal transfer characteristics of the sprayed steel tooling, demonstrating that the variation in temperature across the tool surface and the temperature lag during heating, are negligible.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
NN10 8BE Daventry
NN3 6AQ Northampton
87 Athlone, Co. Westmeath